This is a wonderful time of the year… the summer holidays are now behind us and spending quality time with family and friends was especially priceless this year. I was able to be around the next generation of males in my immediate family, and for the most part they are doing positive things. I will not take credit for that, but I have advised some on career options for their lives. I will reflect on how this corresponds with this current class at Hopeworks.
The name of this particular group is “9 Lives…Still Motivated”, and motivation has been something many have struggled with in their personal lives. Society has relegated the idea of a successful African-American male to the bottom of the career ladder. Many of these men have tried to be responsible individuals with little or no assistance from friends, family or social agencies. “How can I be a provider for my child if the government will give her more than I can…food stamps, housing voucher, or child support?” We are literally breaking the dynamic of family structure in many communities. One might say, “Who told them to have all these children out-of-wedlock or why are they not employed?” Let him or her without sin cast the first stone; you get the meaning.
I, as well as my co-workers, am faced with the struggles of people living in poverty on a daily basis. The males who will graduate have been challenged to make the good decisions that will lead them to live positive lifestyles. We are holding them accountable for their unwise choices, while educating them on making better choices in the future. We ask that you continue to pray that this ministry reaches more men to help break the cycle of poverty, one family at a time. I would also like to challenge you to share your stories of how you arrived where you are in your life with someone who is searching for a positive role model.
By Antonio Owens